Wednesday 28 May 2014

After Ezekiel

Today's sermon is based on the notable Prophecy of the Shepherd & the Sheep, after Ezekiel chapter 34: verses 1 to 31 of New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.


The polemical word came to me: "Mensch, apprise the politicos of Britain; forewarn and inform them: 'This is what the Sovereign British People say: Woe to you politicos of Britain who only take care of yourselves! Should not politicos take care of their folk? You eat five-star cuisine, clothe yourselves in fine tailoring, designer footwear & expensive accessories, but you do not take care of your folk. You have not supported the poor, nurtured the NHS nor cared for the disabled. You have not included the misfits nor acknowledged the lost, the suicides and deaths. You have ruled Brits harshly and brutally. So Britons despaired because there were no leaders with true vision for the people and their well-being, and whilst unemployed or under-employed or under-paid, they were forced to rely on food-banks and charity hand-outs. Brits wondered what was to become of them; from Britain's mountains through the hills to the low-lands all hope has been dispersed. No-one in authority deigned to research or even look at the people's despair.' "


" 'Therefore, you politicos, hear the polemical word: As surely as I live, declares this Mensch, because my country lacks good leadership and so has been plundered by the 10% and has become easy-money for international conglomerates, and because you politicos did not support my folk but cared only for your own pecuniary interests rather than my folk, therefore, you politicos, hear the polemical word: This is what this Mensch says: I am against the politicos and they will be held accountable to my folk. I will remove the establishment from having power over my folk, so that you politicos can no longer be solely self-serving. My country will be rescued from your grimy paws, and it will no longer be your cash-cow.' "


" 'For this is what the Mensch says: I myself will seek out my folk and look out for them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when s/he is with them, so will I look out for my fellow countrymen. Britons will look to bring love and hope to those lost in confusion and despair. Britons will come together from all corners of the United Kingdom and reclaim their land. Hope will be rekindled near and far throughout the land, both in town and country. All will have sufficient to eat, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it will not simply be mass-produced fast-food, but nutritious alimentation. The workers will be permitted sufficient rest to develop a better work-life balance, declares the Mensch. Brits will commemorate those who died as a result of the politicos' policies. We will support those with impairments, disabled by societal barriers, and the impoverished; but those who were well-dressed and in positions of power shall be brought to book. Britain will become a country known for its justness and justice.' "

[Image description: various colours, pile of gourds & pumpkins]


" 'As for you, my folk, this is what the Mensch says: the courts will judge all equally with impartiality whatever one's status or wealth or ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation or creed. It ought to be enough for all to settle for a fair citizen's income; there should be no place for greed and avarice and hoarding so that others cannot share in Britain's bounty. All must have a seat at table; none should make do with mere crumbs.' "


" 'Therefore this is what the Mensch says to you, my fellows: See, the courts will judge between the impoverished and the 10%. Because the 10% have wheedled and tricked and manipulated to enrich themselves whilst impoverishing the rest, Britain will care for its own folk, and they will no longer be plundered. The courts will pass judgement. Brits will have a genuine democracy where every voice is heard and every vote counts. We will have leaders who are inspired, have vision for a better tomorrow and who will govern justly and wisely. Menschlichkeit will be the norm in the personal sphere: social justice will prevail in the political.' The Mensch has spoken."


" 'Britain will be a land of peace where all are welcomed as fellow siblings; it will rid itself of predatory free-market economics and look to a more sustainable future. The country will be united as one and will come to be and be seen as a beacon for all peoples of our world. We will address issues of climate change and do our utmost to restore the planet, so that all can be nourished by all that Nature has to offer. Brits will be secure in our land. We will know that Justice prevails, when the courts rule against poor working practices like unpaid overtime or excessive work demands, and gaol unsuitable employers. Britain will no longer sell its workplaces to the highest bidder and will tame all-devouring capitalism to serve we the people, not vice versa. The bounty of the country will be shared equitably amongst all citizens, no longer mainly the 10%; and we shall no longer be the laughing-stock of more civilised countries. Then Brits will know Menschlichkeit and all will be Menschen one unto another', declares the Mensch. 'You are the people, the people of this land, and Britain is our country', declares the Mensch."

[Image description: landscape wit mountains & full rainbow arc]


Original text © NIV

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.
25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety,and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture,and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

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